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Mitt Romney argued during the debate that HE is the leader. He led businesses… he led the economy…. when pressed on the issue as it pertains to the role of Commander in Chief and leading the military, he responded by noting “I’d loved to have” served.

John McCain, on the other hand noted the endorsement of retired General Norman Schwarzkopf and more than 100 retired generals and admirals. he noted that he commanded the largest naval squadron. That four former secretaries of state have endorsed him.

I am a national security freak. I think about SGLI. The GI Bill. Survivors benefits and DIC (Death Indemnity Compensation) and Veterans health care. I think of my visits to Section 65, Marker 3618 in Arlington National Cemetery. I think of the quiet ceremony on the afternoon of September 11, 1998 at the Old Post Chapel where old friends gathered, and knowing that many of them are still in uniform – fighting on the front lines. The young folks they were then have given way to real leaders, in a real war, with real lives at stakes. Real families who miss them and love them.

And then I ask myself, which of the Republicans would I trust with the day-to-day life of today’s soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines??? Does Mitt Romney have any idea what it’s like to experience sudden, catastrophic loss and still bear the responsibility of being the face & force for strength? Does John McCain?
Do Domestic issues matter? Yes. But, if we are not safe – then nothing else matters. Electing a president who understands how to manage the entire portfolio is difficult at best.

As a Gold Star Wife, I don’t trust Mitt Romney on the national security and military issues that matter most to me. He does not have the cultural understanding necessary to be Commander in Chief. He displays very little intellectual power during discussions of Iraq, Iran, or any foreign policy matter. The Commander in Chief can’t just call attorneys to decipher the UCMJ. The Commander in Chief should have real info – not just know where the best offshore tax havens are.

For me, despite my differences with him on a couple of domestic issues – the best candidate in the Republican primary is John McCain. McCain runs his own ship. I don’t know what date MCain’s “Alive Day” is – but I know that he has one. It leaves a mark in your very soul. Grace follows the Alive Day, and a palpable understanding of sacrifice stays in your mind. And it’s the kind of day that makes it possible to survive five years of torture. It is the kind of experience that steadies a Commander in Chief as the nation weathers war – and faces an era where the enemy is elusive.

Finally – when it comes to the social issues, let me be very clear. I will not accept morality lessons from “movement conservatives” who have friends under indictment, in jail, in disgrace, that solicit House pages for sex, or align themselves with hookers, madams, orclaim to have a wide stance. John McCain is more of a real man than all of those people put together. They are only one-third of the GOP – that isn’t a base – that is the Fringe.

If I needed investment advice, I’d call Romney. If it’s anything else – vote McCain in the Republican primary.

—Media Lizzy